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Ring of Steall
by LeithySuburbs » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:36 pm
Route description: The Ring of Steall, Mamores
Munros included on this walk: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Sgurr a'Mhaim, Stob Coire a'Chairn
Date walked: 14/10/2012
Time taken: 7.4 hours
Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 1680m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
As I set off from the head of Glen Nevis the tops were just shaking off the last of their night-time cloud and blue skies were emerging. I followed the well worn path to the wire bridge and hopped across (it seemed steadier than the last time I crossed but that may have been my imagination...). The path on the other side was unpleasantly boggy and I found myself doing more jumping than walking. Next I had to cross the Allt Coire a' Mhail just below Steall Falls. This was quite a torrent and after a couple of thinking-better-of-it half crossings I headed downstream to find a shallower section. "Better wet feet than an impromptu swim" I thought .
To my surprise, with the help of my poles my feet stayed dry as I managed to lurch from one semi-submerged stepping stone to the next. I could see the path heading up into Coire Chadha Chaoruinn but first I had to cross another horrendous bog which involved a detour up the hillside to avoid the worst of .
Relieved to be on firm ground I started off at a fair pace on the good steep path to the summit of An Gearanach. I was feeling good and my leg muscles seemed to be working well so I barely stopped until I reached the Munro summit. Here I had brief chat with a couple of ladies from Aberdeen who were also doing the round. Views of Ben Nevis, in particular, were superb. The route ahead was also clear which is always reassuring should the weather deteriorate later.
After a short break it was onwards to An Garbhanach and the next Munro Stob Coire a' Chairn. There was some easy scrambling on this section but I avoided a good chunk of it as the rock was slippy and it didn't seem like the primary purpose of this route. An easy pull brought me to the second Munro where I touched the cairn and moved on.
The route up Am Bodach looked good fun - nice and steep with an infinite choice of routes. There was a bit of a chill now as the breeze had picked up but I was still sweating as I arrived at the summit. 3 down in a little over 3 hours and I decided it was time for a proper lunch break. I chilled down after lunch which gave me a chance to try my new mittens - very cosy . There were good views along Loch Leven and of the route completed so far.
A light but bracing shower of drizzly snow passed as I descended the bouldery west ridge of Am Bodach but I soon warmed again on the easy graded ascent to Sgurr an Iubhair. Hat and mitts were removed as the sun re-appeared and I could see the Devils Ridge ahead of the final climb to Sgurr a' Mhaim .
Now, I don't know what I was expecting from the ridge but I must confess to being a little underwhelmed by it. A very short lived downclimb followed by a tricky move upwards was about the most interesting scrambling I could find. Did I miss something or have I just been spoiled this year by great days on Skye and the Aonach Eagach? Despite the lack of hands on fun, this was still an enjoyably narrow ridge and I reckon would be great fun in winter.
At the Bealach a' Chip I had a good drink of water and set off for the final Munro of the day. There was plenty of interest as the clag briefly rolled up to the edge of the ridge behind me and I could catch glimpses of Fort William below.
I reached the summit a little over 5 hours after leaving the car which I considered not bad going having not done any large days recently.
As usual I hobbled my way downhill on the good path back to the road. My knees have started to show the strain of 7 years going up and down hills and I am now forced to take small slow steps and make full use of my trekking poles. Magical views up Glen Nevis compensated for the pain in my knees for the hour and a half it took to reach the road.
I followed the charming path on the south side of the river until it crossed over to the road about half way back to the car. The glen was on fire as the evening sun lit up the autumn colours .
I don't exaggerate to say this walk back up the glen was one of the highlights of my year. A paradise of mountains, water and flora to the sound of the roaring stags. I was sad to finish the walk but thrilled to have enjoyed such a day .
by rockhopper » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:45 pm
by pigeon » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:46 pm
by Scotjamie » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:15 pm
20 years since I was up on the devil's ridge and also enjoyed it without fear ....but also remember sore knees coming off the hill that day.
However your 5 hour round is almost monty-esque.
by Collaciotach » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:17 pm
by davedanson28 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:39 pm
by schalmers » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:48 pm
by GentianBlue » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:07 am
The autumn colours were certainly terrific.
by Meatball » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:08 am
Wasn't phased by devils ridge either.
I'll do this one again, maybe clockwise this time....
by Stretch » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:35 am
by Fudgie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:09 am
I think I can see myself in your picture of Binnein Mor
by ChrisW » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:27 pm
by gammy leg walker » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:29 pm
by Paula Hubens » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:43 pm
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by soulminer » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:53 pm
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